Regularly backup your data to a separate device. And it is a good idea to keep a copy at a separate location. This also helps recover from physical disasters such as fire, flood, theft, etc.

In some ways, this is the most important of all the protections listed here. The others can fail, and when they do, you will need your backup to restore your system. Software can be replaced, but invariably your personal data is not replacable.

Software updates

Ensure that all software updates are installed for your operating system and for the software that you use. Usually the operating system and some software will automatically check for updates (you might have to set this). For some software, you may have to manually check for updates.

Some of the bigger security incidents have been attacks on computers that do not have the latest updates installed.

Social media

Be careful what you post on Facebook, Twitter, forums, etc. Information you post could enable identify theft, targeted scams or other problems.

Check that your privacy settings at these sites limit who can view your profile and posts.

Computer Security

Some notes on keeping your computer safe and secure.

This page lists some simple tips for keeping your home computer safe, including these topics:

  • Be informed
  • Backup your data
  • Update your software
  • Use strong passwords
  • Email safety
  • Browser extensions

Be Informed

Learn a bit about your computer and internet security. There is quite a bit to know, so here are links to some useful websites.

Email safety

Be careful when you click on links in emails, even if they come from people you know. Hover the mouse over the link to see where the link goes to.

Be wary of email attachments.

Be wary of anything urgent or too good to be true. If you have any doubt, just talk to someone about it.

Check these tips to avoid scams.


Use strong passwords, and use a different password for each website. In particular, use strong and different passwords for your email and for any websites involving money. Read these password dos and donts and check how secure is your password? and have I been pwned?.

It can be difficult keeping track of all those passwords, so consider using a password manager (such as PasswordSafe, KeePass, LastPass. etc). If you are using a password manager in your browser, use one with a master password (such as Firefox).

Don't give your username and password to anyone, not even your bank.

Home network

Set the wifi passphrase (WPA2), set the SSID and change the default admin password. Usually, ISPs now provide routers with unique passwords but it is stronger to create your own.

Disable remote admin access (should be off by default, unless needed by your ISP). Disable and don't use WSP or WEP for wifi.


This is software that is used to detect Windows malware, but mostly it can only find stuff it already knows about. If you have Windows, Windows Defender is built in. Ensure it is switched on and kept up to date. Keep the definition files up to date (use Windows update).